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The Standard Prayer Book, tr. by Simeon Singer, [1915], at

p. 453


The first-born Child, if a male, must be redeemed on the thirty-first day of his birth. If, however, the Father be a Cohen or a Levite, or the Mother the daughter of a Cohen or a Levite, they are exempt from the duty of Redemption. Should the thirty-first day fall on a Sabbath or Holyday, the ceremony is postponed until the day following.

The Father, presenting his Child to the Cohen, makes the following declaration:—

This my first-born son is the first-born of his mother, and the Holy One, blessed be he, hath given command to redeem him, as it is said, And those that are to be redeemed of them from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, the shekel being twenty gerahs; and it is said, Sanctify unto me all the first-born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

The Father then places before the Cohen silver to the amount of five selaim or shekels (four dollars), and the Cohen asks:—

Which wouldst thou rather, give me thy first-born son, the first-born of his mother, or redeem him for five selaim, which thou art bound to give according to the Law?

The Father replies:—

I desire rather to redeem my son, and here thou hast the value of his redemption, which I am bound to give according to the Law.

p. 454

The Cohen receives the redemption money, and returns the Child to his Father, whereupon the latter says the following Blessing:—

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by thy commandments, and given us command concerning the redemption of the son.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast kept us in life, and hast preserved us, and enabled us to reach this season.

The Cohen then takes the redemption money, and, holding it over the head of the Child, says:—

This is instead of that, this in commutation for that, this in remission of that. May this child enter into life, into the Law and the fear of Heaven. May it be God's will that even as he has been admitted to redemption, so may he enter into the Law, the nuptial canopy, and into good deeds. Amen.

The Cohen places his hand upon the head of the Child, and pronounces the following Benediction:—

God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord turn his face unto thee, and give thee peace.

The Lord is thy guardian: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. For length of days, and years of life and peace shall they add to thee. The Lord shall guard thee from all evil; he shall guard thy soul. Amen.

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